Those who know Jess Admire best must find traces of irony in how she’ll be all about the “B” once the summer of 2015 gets here.
For the majority of her 16 years, the Franklin Community High School junior has, literally and figuratively, brought her “A” game to academics as well as volleyball courts in and around Johnson County.
“The only ‘B’ she ever got on her grade card was in the second grade in conduct because she talked so much,” said Admire’s mother, Beth, laughing. “She got in the car that day and said, ‘I’m not going to get into Harvard now.’ She was serious.”
A 5-foot-10 junior rightside hitter for the Grizzly Cubs, Admire on July 3 verbally committed to attend Butler University, where she plans to play volleyball for the Bulldogs while majoring in chemistry.
Name: Jess Admire
School: Franklin Community High School
Family: Parents, Jim and Beth; brothers, George, 12, and Joe, 9
2012 statistics: 409 kills, 203 digs, 54 service aces
Career statistics: 722 kills, 290 digs, 97 service aces
The goal for Admire, a 4.23 grade-point student ranked second academically in her class at Franklin, is to someday make a living as a dentist or orthodontist.
She’s already mastered making impressions.
In 2012, Admire recorded 409 kills and 203 digs in being named the Daily Journal’s Player of the Year as a sophomore on its annual All-County Volleyball Team. The Grizzly Cubs finished with a 26-9 record, advancing to their Class 4A sectional final before losing to Center Grove 25-19, 25-19, 25-23.
Admire selected Butler over Xavier University, which also had offered a scholarship. Other programs she visited unofficially during the past few years were Michigan, Dayton, Kansas, Indiana and Kentucky.
Admire gave these and other Division I volleyball programs every consideration. Butler, however, possessed an “it” factor best suiting Admire’s needs.
“I just found myself wanting to go back. I was excited because Butler is a beautiful place, and it just fit my personality,” she said. “Now I can just focus on volleyball and enjoying it. I’m representing the high school, and these are the girls I’m with every day and have grown up with. It’s a family.”
Beth Admire, simply by reading her oldest child’s body language, sensed all along it would be Butler.
“I remember walking out of our first visit there going, ‘This is where she’s going to go,’” Beth Admire said. “The Butler volleyball coach (Sharon Clark) took the time to bring back one of her former players who is now in dental school.
“Jess just loved it, and she was real keen on going to a school that’s in a city.”
Butler posted a 17-12 record in 2012 in what was Clark’s 13th season. Greenwood resident Jadyn Yarling, a 5-4 defensive specialist and graduate of Brebeuf High School after previously attending Center Grove, will be a junior for the Bulldogs this coming season.
Butler, which has produced winning records seven of the past 10 years, is about to enter the revamped Big East Conference after one year of affiliation with the Atlantic 10 Conference.
This, too, assisted in nudging Admire toward being a Bulldog.
As has become recent custom, the Grizzly Cubs open the coming season across the net from Shelbyville. The Aug. 20 match is at Franklin.
For Admire, it’s a case of here today, Hinkle Fieldhouse tomorrow.